Horses, racing and a day out – if you love going to the races, some of the most enjoyable days are at a country race meet. The Seymour Racing Club has long been synonymous with country racing in Victoria, however in 2016, Seymour become a premier racing destination with a $5.2 million racecourse upgrade, thanks to the Victorian Government, Racing Victoria and the club itself.
Planting themes, garden design and fashionable plants come and go in cycles, just like the history of architecture, cars and most things that we as humans, connect with. To say that there has been a resurgence of indoor plants over the last couple of years is something of an understatement.
Back in the mid 1980s was the last huge indoor plant craze. Retailers could not keep enough of them on the nursery shelves, and a constant stream of fishbone ferns, maidenhair ferns, devils ivy, piggy back plants and dracaena’s – to name just a few – were flying out the door. Many of us would recall the bronze-look totem poles with arms from which we had bronze pots with plants spilling from them. No self-respecting bathroom would be seen without one. Then, fashion changed and we moved away from indoor plants.
This week, Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager talks about what some of us see as fungi, but are in fact water moulds.
There are couple of major diseases which can cause huge losses – not only in the agricultural industry, but also in home gardens. These are called Pythium and Phytophthora. Most people think they are fungi (they do have some resemblance to fungi, mainly because of their filamentous growing habit), but they are very different, both genetically and in their cell surface.
A really interesting story appeared recently in the world’s top science journal, and it comes from a group out of Western Sydney University. Putting it simply, the level of CO2 around various trees in an old growth forest was increased. These plants have been there for centuries undisturbed by farming or other practices. They wanted to show that increasing CO2 leads to increases in plant growth – the idea being that this is a way of offsetting CO2 emissions.
Did you know that some of the most deliciously scented plants flower in winter? If you’re looking for something that catches your attention in winter, then there’s a great variety of plants you can choose from.
Witch hazel is lovely. The flowers appear clustered along the bare stems and their dainty “ribbon like” yellow flowers are sweetly scented. Witch hazel originates from China and there are a few varieties in this family, but the prettiest and most fragrant is Hamamelis mollis. A mature witch hazel in full bloom is a sight to behold.
The importance of good soil preparation prior to planting is clearly evident in these series of photos from George in Queensland. You may remember that we featured George’s fantastic cordylines last year.
George wanted a very low maintenance garden on the western side of his townhouse. It is a hot spot in summer, and the only plants that have ever survived with little maintenance have been bougainvilleas and natives. As the garden bed is situated next to a brick fence and close to the water, it’s a real double whammy of difficulty. The plants need to contend with heat reflection from the fence and sun reflection from the water.
If you have roses in your garden and need to know how to care for them over winter, Dr. Jacinta Burke from the Rose Society of Victoria has some great tips. “Winter is upon us and it is time to get ready for pruning our roses. The roses should have put on plenty of growth over the spring to autumn months, and now need to be rejuvenated for the next season’s growth. Before starting, make sure that your tools have been cleaned and sharpened. Blunt tools make the task more difficult, and more importantly can lead to bruising of the stems, which may result in disease and cause the stems to die back.
Winter is upon us, and for those who love to garden there is much to be done. Aside from the well-known winter jobs such as pruning and planting of bare rooted roses and deciduous trees and shrubs, there is still the soil to consider.
In most areas of Australia there’s not much happening above ground in your garden during the winter months, but there’s still plenty happening below ground. Even soil microbes – bacteria and fungi that live in the soil year round – can be active in winter months.
Don and Dawn Vivian married in 2004 and moved into Don’s home. Neither Don, his parents or grandparents had ever grown roses, however Dawn had been happily involved with roses for more than 30 years. When Don and Dawn started getting to know each other, they both had lovely gardens, but with two completely different styles – Don’s featured an immaculate lawn with lovely green shrubs, and Dawn’s garden was a riot of roses and colour.
Snapdragons are often thought of as old-fashioned flowers, evoking childhood memories of a grandparents’ garden. The snapdragon gets its common name from its flower shape, which (if you use a little imagination) resembles a dragon’s head, and its mouth opens and closes when you squeeze it. Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are short-lived perennial plants that survive well in cold seasons but are often replanted each spring, and are therefore considered annuals. They do best in full or partial sun in well composted, well-drained soil, since their roots are susceptible to rotting (although they do require regular watering).